Air district emphasizes need for restrictions

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Air district emphasizes need for restrictions

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:27 pm

Air district emphasizes need for restrictions

A recent letter to the Napa Valley Register addressed the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s wood burning rule in misleading terms (“Air district doesn’t serve county’s best interests,” Jan. 22), and we would like an opportunity to clarify.

The Bay Area Air District is a government body created by state law in 1955 as a regional agency with jurisdiction over the nine Bay Area counties. Much of the impetus for our initial formation came from agricultural interests, such as those prevalent in Napa, who were troubled by the damage air pollution was doing to their crops and related business enterprises.

We understand that wood smoke for some people conjures pleasant memories, but one in seven Bay Area residents suffers from asthma. And we receive a significant number of calls each year from people — many of whom are elderly — who are having trouble breathing on days when their neighbors are burning wood.

Over the past five years, our surveys indicate that more than 70 percent of Bay Area residents support the winter Spare the Air wood burning ban as a necessary public health measure.

Fine particle pollution is the most serious air pollution hazard and related public health issue in the Bay Area. And our wood burning regulation is an essential element in its control.

The components of wood smoke are very similar to second-hand cigarette smoke, and equally hazardous to health. Wood smoke is the single largest wintertime contributor to the fine particle pollution that is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease, as well as higher death rates.

Wood smoke is a problem that Napa shares with the rest of the Bay Area — for example, over this past week, our highest single-hour fine particle measurements were recorded in Napa — and we appreciate the support of the majority of Napa residents who elect to protect the health of their neighbors and communities by choosing not to burn during winter Spare the Air alerts.

Jack Broadbent / Executive officer, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

source ... f887a.html

• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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